Famous Seaweed Soup by Antoinette Truglio Martin

I hope you are having a wonderful week! Along with The Children’s Book Review, I’m on tour with Famous Seaweed Soup, a delightful children’s book perfect for ages 5 and up. You may be aware of this book as it was first published in 1993. Keep reading for an interview with the author where they talk about how the book has changed since the first release. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to share my opinion, but this isn’t a sponsored post. I hope you enjoy!

About the Book:

Beach days are the best days and Sara loves everything about the beach. Her favorite part is making her Famous Seaweed Soup. Collecting all the ingredients is a tough job but Sara thinks she’s up to the task!

Can she make it all by herself or will a busy family foil her recipe?


Interview with the author:

What inspired you to write Famous Seaweed Soup?

I wrote the first draft of FSS while watching my then three-year-old play on the shore of the beach. She had a great imagination, loved to build seaweed castles, and cook up soup. It soon became known as Sara's Famous Seaweed Soup. I love watching her play, listening to herself-dialogues, and going along with the game even when I had an infant to care for. The story was simple and fun to write but took a lot of time and discarded drafts to craft into an endearing story. I think Sara noticed the connection between making her soup by herself and the Little Red Hen book we read together. I adapted the fable and eventually came up with a crafted story worthy for children.


What is your favorite part of the story?

This question is like asking who is your favorite child. But if you must know, I favor the part where Sara walks along the beach looking for smelly stuff. It warms my heart to see a child innocently and independently walk along a beach picking up and examining icky smelly discoveries. Every kid has picked up smelly stuff and felt compelled to share it.


How is this book different from when the book was first published in 1993?

It has been 30 years since the first Famous Seaweed Soup launched. Time changed a lot of things. The Albert Whitman and Company, a trade publishing house, put out the 1993 version in a traditional manner complete with a modest advance and even modester royalty commission. I truly surrendered my story since I had little input. But, for this first-time author experience, it was a great ride. The Albert Whitman and Company contracted Nadine Wescott, a very popular illustrator who had a fun cartoony style. Although I loved and, more importantly, my readers LOVED the art. I had no voice in the production. I had little input in just about every step of the way and consequently learned very little about the publishing industry and book marketing.

Fast forward to 2023. Purple Butterfly Press is a hybrid publishing house, meaning I have skin in the game. I am part of the production and marketing team. Although there was no advance payment, the royalty rate is satisfactory. This 2023 version includes new illustrations. I contracted the artist, Penny Weber. Penny Weber illustrated a diverse family. I love the characters’ sweet faces and authentic postures and gestures. The pictures perspective and line of sight varied. I asked Penny to be sure there were hats on heads, for sun protection. We could not include dogs since most beaches have leash laws. Penny gave the seagulls adorable expressions. They crack me up!

Another difference is the text. I updated the content. Instead of searching for a favorite radio station, the daddy looks for a playlist on his phone. I change the number of snails so the line is read more smoothly.


What are some of your favorite children’s books?

Oh my, there are so many wonderful books out there! It is impossible to choose absolute favorites. I love the classics like Good Night Moon, Where the Wild

Things Are, Swimmy, NO, David! The language simplicity weaves memorable stories that are perfect for out loud reading. Each book has its special feature that goes into choosing the just right story for the story time moment. I consider the time of day, the season, messages that need to be presented, perhaps something funny or profound. The well worn out favorite needs no reason. It’s simply the favorite. That’s why an overstuffed bookshelf of children’s books are essential for home, school, and libraries.


What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not writing?

I am constantly scheming to get on a boat or to the beach. I sail, walk the shoreline, and visit with fellow beach bums and sailors. I have two grandchildren who live far from my reach, so my schedule revolves around their schedules and ideal airfare times. I like to spend time with friends, my sisters and mom as well. Cooking takes a good deal of my attention. Every once in a while I cook up something amazing. I also putter in the garden. Laundry and sticky floors call to me, but they are not my favorite things so I try to ignore their pleas as best I can.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write for you. Write what you see, hear, feel, and whatever is in your heart. Write every day. Just keep writing. Know that not everything you write is a good idea, creative, or publishable. The important thing is to put words on paper or on a laptop.

Once you find your writer’s groove, find your tribe. Meet local writers, go to meetings, ask questions, take part in critique groups, attend conferences. One of the COVID perks is that so many workshops and conferences are now on-line which helps with accessibility and keeps the tuition to a reasonable level. A writer always writes. Just write.



Enter for the chance to win a 30-book classroom set of Famous Seaweed Soup!

Famous Seaweed Soup Book Giveaway

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A 30-book classroom set of Famous Seaweed Soup

Five (5) winners receive:

A paperback copy of Famous Seaweed Soup


About the Author:

Antoinette Truglio Martin is a retired speech therapist and special ed teacher, who now enjoys life as an author and nonny. She finds wonder in children’s play and captures the magic with her stories. Antoinette lives in her hometown, Sayville, New York, where she writes and plays on the Long Island seashore with her beach-loving family and friends.

Keep in touch on social media:





  1. Thank you SO much for the interview opportunity.


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